Gray - Rachelle Elizabeth (Cowie) Blais, 81, passed away peacefully on March 22nd, 2020. Rachelle was born on October 1st, 1938 to James Thomas Vye Cowie and Evelyn Merrill (Cummings) Cowie. She was raised in Gray and attended Gray schools, graduating from Pennell Institute in 1956. She then attended Northeastern Business College. In 1957 she married her high school sweetheart, Ronald Henry Blais.
As a child, Rachelle enjoyed many family outings, most notably summer times spent at the ocean and several Maine lakes, camping and visiting friends. The family had many pets over the years that helped Rachelle, and her sister Nancy, develop a love for animals. She was active in the Brownie and Girl Scout Programs and also attended Tap Dance and Piano Lessons. Her father would play his harmonica and she and her sister would practice on a spare section of linoleum, so as not to scuff up the floor.
Her first job was scooping ice cream at Cole Farms Restaurant at the age of 16. She continued working there as a waitress when her children were little. She then spent the next couple of decades working for the Gray-New Gloucester Schools as a Library Assistant/Secretary. She loved all things Dewey Decimal. She took that experience to Maine Medical Center in their Medical Library. While there, she created the Maine Medical Center Archives and co-authored an article with Maryanne Lamont titled, “A Hospital Archives…What’s It All About?”, published in the Medical Reference Services Quarterly, Vol. 21(1), Spring c. 2002 by The Haworth Press, Inc. She ended her working career making spaghetti sauce for the place where it all began, Cole Farms Restaurant.
Her favorite job however, was that of Mom. She sacrificed for her children always. She may not have had new clothes, but made sure that her children had what they needed. Her children were her everything. She spent their childhood creating a safe and loving environment, often in the face of adversity. She continued the family camping tradition at the Cowie Family camp on Little Sebago Lake in Gray. The family was fortunate to have this haven and had created many, many memories there. Rachelle loved to cook. Her husband, children, and grandchildren were the main recipients of the incredible flavors she created in the kitchen. She contributed to a school cookbook and named a different recipe after each grandchild.
She was proud of the community she lived in and took great pride that she was a direct descendent of the first male child born in the town of Gray; Daniel Cummings. When her first Grandchild was born her life took on new meaning. She was the absolute best Grammie and spent years doting on all 7 of her grandchildren. She was lucky to also enjoy three great grandchildren and loved being a “GG.”
She was predeceased by her parents, husband and grandchild Ryan Andrew Blais, as well as many loving fur babies.
She is survived by her sister Nancy Wilson, and her three sons and their families. Her daughter Kathi Skilling and husband Bruce, daughter Sarah Holmquist and husband Bill, and son Andrew Blais and wife Becky. Grandchildren Aaron Skilling and husband Bob Kennedy, Katelyn Skilling, Trevor Holmquist and wife Sarah, Kelsey (Holmquist) Douglass and husband Eric. Kayla (Blais) Sargent and husband Scott, Joselle Blais and Cameron Blais. As well as three Great Grandchildren; Anthony and Gabriella Douglass, and Brooklyn Holmquist.
The family would like to thank Odd Fellows & Rebekahs’ Home of Maine and staff for their kind and compassionate care. If you so choose, in lieu of flowers, you may wish to donate to Odd Fellows & Rebekahs’ Home of Maine. 85 Caron Lane Auburn, Me 04210
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